LAUGHLIN — Dr. Brian Paulson, who has served four years as Laughlin town manager and 30 years as an employee of Clark County, announced that he is retiring.
Paulson made the announcement at Tuesday’s Laughlin Town Advisory Board meeting. He will be leaving Aug. 7. No immediate plans for a replacement have been made; that decision will come from the Clark County Board of Commissioners.
“I am grateful to Dr. Paulson for his 31 years of dedicated service to Clark County and am confident that he will continue to serve our community as a private citizen,” said District A Commissioner Michael Naft, whose district includes Laughlin. “Moving forward, my office will maintain a high level of service and representation for all Laughlin residents.”
In a prepared statement, Paulson said, “In October 2019, I celebrated my 30th work anniversary with Clark County. Thirty years is an incredible number and stretch of time to work for an institution that has provided me with a spectacular career. In October 1989, I left my native Iowa when I was hired as a 12-month management analyst intern in the office of the county manager in the first year of the program. After six months I became a full-time management analyst. Almost four years later, I jumped to finance and community resources and became the Community Development Block Grant coordinator for the next 20 plus years. I loved this job as we built community-based projects like the community centers and senior centers in areas of highest economic need and at-risk locations.
“When Laughlin came calling four years ago, I jumped at the opportunity. I already had previous involvement here, as both the Spirit Mountain Activity Center and Colorado River Food Bank warehouse were constructed using CDBG funds and I served as project manager.
“What has happened since last October could not have been predicted. A pandemic has hit the nation and the world, and, of course, here in Nevada. By Clark County orders, my office was closed for two months and my staff and I were issued stay-at-home orders. I used this time at home to be in weekly and sometimes daily contact with a number of local agencies, including the health district, Metro, Silver Rider, and our county’s economic development team to try to ensure a steady food supply in Laughlin as well as a replacement for Aldape’s. We are happy to report a new grocer will be coming soon under a lease agreement with the county under CARES Act stimulus funding.
“Due to economic loss derived from the pandemic, in May, Clark County is offering a Voluntary Separation Plan for employees nearing retirement. This plan is especially enticing for employees at or near 30 years (the magic year of retirement) because the additional financial incentives. Like hundreds of other long-time county employees, this was an opportunity that is not often offered and too great to ignore.
“So, last month with almost 30 years and 10 months with the county, I made the difficult decision to retire effective Aug. 7, 2020, the last day I can under the county’s buyout separation plan. My paperwork application was submitted over two weeks ago and I am very happy with my decision. Not only do I believe I have had the best job I could ever have at the county, but I got to serve a tight-knit community of residents that welcomed me with open arms from the start in June 2016. I have not and will never forget this. For this opportunity, I am indebted to so many, perhaps too many to name without forgetting someone, but I will mention one — then-commissioner Steve Sisolak and now Gov. Sisolak, who entrusted and placed his full support in my efforts down here. I promised the governor I would commit four to six years serving as town manager. On June 6, I reached four years serving as town manager. Thank you, governor.
“After 26 years in Las Vegas, Laughlin has been my home for the past four. I will miss everyone, especially the town board. Chair (Gina) Mackey was not yet a member of that board but I knew her first as she was my Realtor when I looked for a home. Thank you for finding me a great place, Gina. Kathy, (Ochs), Jim (Maniaci), and Herm (Walker), I’ve known you from the beginning, too, whether from church or the chamber or the town board.
“Speaking of my fan support at the chamber, my decision has absolutely no bearing on a recent article. Absolutely none whatsoever and I want to make that perfectly clear. I will say, I have been truly humbled by the large outpouring of calls, texts, and mail of support.
“My town boards, past and present, both in Laughlin and Searchlight, have served their communities well and will continue to do so. I am proud of the vision that members have undertaken in recent years to make out town of Laughlin an even greater one. I have been happy to go to bat whenever and as often as I could to support all your efforts. Not an easy task but I was happy to carry the water as best and as able as I could on behalf of both my towns. We got several things started, and some things completed. From SIDS to the solar development lease renewal, I’m happy with these accomplishments and others that have been achieved together.
“Because the county’s VSP plan is still all so recent, I have made no immediate future plans, but Laughlin will always be in my heart. As mentioned earlier, I was the county’s CDBG coordinator so I am particularly ecstatic and proud to leave a parting special gift for the future, the multigenerational center which was approved for funding by the board of county commissioners under the next five-year capital plan. Once completed, I know it will be enjoyed for years to come.
“When I began my duties here on June 6, 2016, it came just three days after my fathers funeral. On this day, my dad’s birthday, and with heavy heart, I thank my family, I thank my staff, I thank Clark County and the hundreds of friends and colleagues I’ve made over my 30 years, and above all I thank you, Laughlin and Searchlight. I will be forever grateful.
“And finally, if I may quote a favorite president, John F. Kennedy: ‘Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.’ ”